Rock and Roll — the Anti-aging Secret
Living Out Loud — Zero to Sixty-something
I went to see Ringo Starr the other night. He was finally playing his concert date in our area which had twice been canceled. Thanks, Covid. His band is comprised of other aging rock and rollers so, at the tender age of 62, I was feeling a bit superior, age-wise. His youngest bandmates are 63 and 65 but most of the artists are in their mid-seventies and Ringo himself is 82. That’s a lot of musical history. My smug 62-year-old butt sat in the seat waiting to see just how old these guys looked.
We go to a lot of concerts. A. LOT. of. concerts. It’s my husband's passion so I tag along dutifully and more often than not, I end up having a great time. There have been a few exceptions. This is merely MY point of view, so please don’t take umbrage as I tear apart a few legendary acts. Take a deep breath with me.
Okay. I’ll start with Jethro Tull. It wasn’t his music that I objected to so much but his, er… outfit of choice. He was wearing spandex which was very popular among the rock and roll elite back in the day when bodies were tight and things stayed… still, however, there are a few things that I cannot now unsee. Ian Anderson cavorted with his flute bobbing all over the stage, which is both literal and euphemistic.
My husband’s favorite band is KISS. KISS has this thing about tongues and fans feel compelled to pose like they are about to lick the performers right off the stage. I have way too many photos of my husband with his tongue dangling out of his mouth like one of our Great Danes. The first few times were okay but dozens of photos over many years and I swear, the man can’t keep his tongue IN his mouth now. It’s almost Pavlovian. Concert+Photo=Tongue shot. Thanks, Gene Simmons.
Back in the early days of going along to all manner of concerts, I saw acts I didn’t like because I wanted to hang out with my boy so I put myself through hours of music that would make my ears bleed.
My husband and I diverge greatly in our taste in music. He’s a die-hard Rock & Roll and Heavy Metal fan. I, on the other hand, was and still am all about New Wave and Alternative music. Miles apart, right? Not if you go see Ringo Starr and his All-star Band. We’ve got a Beatle in Ringo, Steve Lukather (Toto), Edgar Winter, Hamish Stuart (Average White Band), Colin Hays (Men At Work), Gregg Bissonnette, and Warren Ham (Both played with many very impressive groups).
This varied group of entertainers was so much fun to watch, and they were having a great time. There was a song for everyone. The energy and joy of music were infectious, and age had no place on that stage that night. I found that my agist attitude had no place here because each and every man up there literally transformed into their younger self for a few hours. It was magical to watch.
The two-and-a-half-hour show was an event for several reasons. One, Ringo IS eighty-two now and no one knows how long this Beatle will continue to perform. My guess is a long time, though, because he played the drums with gusto and did a lot of jumping around, so I believe he is cardiac sound.
Another event was watching these stars of days gone by literally turn the clock back with each and every song they played. When Hamish Stuart first came out, he was a bit bent over and slow looking. By the end of the concert, he was absolutely kicking it, vocally and jamming that bass guitar of his. Edgar Winter absolutely lit up when he strung his keyboard around his neck and played Frankenstein. I watched the years roll back as he immersed himself into those familiar chords.
This phenomenon happened with every guy on the stage. For those few hours, they all transformed ala Dorian Grey, into the rockers of the seventies and eighties, gray hair and stiff joints be damned, only instead of a painting it was music that turned back the hands of time.
My takeaway from this experience? If you are doing what you love and what you feel passion for, the calendar doesn’t tell your age. Your heart and soul do. Just for the record though, leave the spandex at home.